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Sri Lanka to ban coloured cigarette packs

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will bring rules to require tobacco firms to use plain packaging in a bid to discourage smoking, health minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

In Sri Lanka fully 80 percent of the area of cigarette pack has to contain a pictorial tobacco warning and only the balance 20 percent can be used for branding.

The cabinet had approved a proposal to ask tobacco firms to use only black and white on the remaining area.

The tobacco firm will be allowed to print only the brand name, product name and the number of sticks, Senaratne said.

Sri Lanka has now implemented almost all of the recommendations contained in a international anti-tobacco protocol the country has signed, he said.

Another recommendation is to stop the sale of individual cigarettes after breaking the package.

But the Treasury has asked for time he said.

If breaking the pack is halted, buying a whole pack will be unaffordable to many.

There is already concern that Sri Lanka’s high taxes are pushing people towards cigarettes without filters and beedis as well as smuggled products.

A government will encourage smuggling by imposing high taxes. (Colombo/Mar12/2016)





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